If you asked me a year ago what Reiki was I probably would have said a 90s singer. Today I cannot only tell you what it is, but what it’s like. Growing up I think I always had a little anxiety, but didn’t notice it much. After giving birth to my daughter and going through life changes like moving in with my parents and a new job I found myself more anxious than ever. Racing thoughts and fear began to run the show. This was not me I thought. All I wanted was for this feeling to go away.
I was able to manage much of this by taking a step back and letting myself off the hook. Because I didn’t buy a home yet didn’t mean I was a bad parent or any less than anyone else, I just kept telling myself that. I re read lots of books that helped me in the past and found new ones. I pursued counseling and tried to take on more self care.
All of these things helped, but I still felt off. One night I decided to google meditation classes near me. I was surprised to see something come up just 10 min away which is a true miracle when you live in the middle of nowhere. The center was called the Tree of Health and they not only offer mediation classes but TONS of other services that I thought I could only find in some really hipster area of NYC. JACK POT. As I was browsing the site I saw they have a Reiki clinic every month for twenty dollars for a one hour session. Twenty dollars, when the regular sessions are 90? I’ll take it. Now obviously I figured out quickly that this was how training Reiki practitioners get their practice but I didn’t care, I didn’t see any way it could hurt me.
I was super psyched to show up for my first sesh. When I arrived they asked if I wanted to be smudged. Feeling like I couldn’t say no, I quickly and enthusiastically responded, “Sure!” When the “smudger” then asked me to step outside I thought I for sure was a goner. She asked me to spread my feet out wide and raise my hands as the woman waved a burning bushel of sage around me. All I could think of is what is going through the mind of every person driving me viewing this scene right now. This was a little weird but I was totally into it. I swear I felt negativity leave my body.
Finally, it was time for the real stuff. I met my Reiki practitioner and she took me into what looks like just a room at a spa, but a little more hippy dippy. There was a massage table, oil diffusers blasting, tapestries, angels, and anything else you’d find at your Aunt Millie’s garage sale. I loved it.
The whole session lasted an hour. Basically, what happens is that the practitioners positions her hands over specific parts of your body. She starts at the head and moves down to the toes and then back up to head. For me, the challenge was lying still for an hour. Surprisingly, I was super relaxed. By the end of the hour my mind had slowed down. I felt like I could think more clearly and I no longer so the need to be anxious or act out of urgency. I had ideas and solutions come into my mind during that I had struggled to find the answers to in the past. I was digging this feeling. I booked my next session as soon as I was done.
If you are wondering if Reiki is right for you I would suggest doing a little google research. While I was there I heard people speak of the healing they were experiencing from illness or disease. There are a number of benefits that Reiki can have on your overall well being such as decreasing stress, assisting the bodies’ natural healing process, reducing pain and anxiety, and treating depression. I haven’t seen anything about negative side effects like those can come with taking prescription meds. If you’re really feeling bad and it can’t make things worse, why not give it a shot? I’m still feeling the effects of my first session and can’t wait for the next.